A few days in Belgium

Advisor - Stephen Field
Curated By

Stephen Field

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  • Belgium

  • Antwerp

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • History

  • Ancient Sites

  • Local Culture

A few days in Belgium
Curator’s statement

Northern Belgium has a mix of delightful small towns and medium-sized cities with some of the most spectacular food and pastries you will find anywhere in the world. For those interested in their genealogy, the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp has fascinating exhibits on the emigration experience and the opportunity to find information on ancestors that may have sailed from Europe in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Ghent and Brugge are both lovely small towns with picturesque canals, buildings, and parks.

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Where to stay

Hilton Antwerp Old Town

Where historic elegance meets modern luxury, providing a sophisticated haven in the heart of Antwerp's charming Old Town district.

Advisor - Stephen Field

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Antwerp is a vibrant city, an old port town, a center of arts and culture and an exciting place to hang out. There are several world-class museums in town. I can highly recommend the Red Star Line Museum housed in the old departure buildings for the Red Star Shipping line which carried many thousands of emigrants from Europe to the United States. Other museums worth a visit include the Museum aan de Stroom for the history of the city itself; the Plantin-Moretus Museum on the history of printing; and the Rubens House (which is currently closed for renovations, so check for schedule updates).

Pastries in Ghent

In Antwerp, the restaurant De 7 Schaken claims to have the finest Belgian Stew in town so it is a great place for those looking for a hearty beef dish. The Antwerp Hilton is ideally located right in the center of town and is in a very charming old building.

Side trips from Antwerp are easy with the cities of Brugge and Ghent only an hour or so away by train from the beautiful Antwerp Centraal Station. Both Brugge and Ghent can be day trips or easy overnight stays and are wonderful places to wander the streets and enjoy a coffee or a beer in the central squares. Check out the simply named 'the bakery' in Ghent for an amazing pastry.

A bit off the beaten path (but only 20 minutes from Antwerp) is the pleasant town of Lier, notable for its clock tower and small museum dedicated to a local eccentric clock maker.

And all of this is just an hour or so away from Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.

Need to Know

If you are considering traveling around northern Europe, Antwerp can be an ideal base for a few days of exploring Belgium. Those interested in genealogy will find the Red Star Line Museum informative and exciting.

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Antwerp, Belgium. In need of further inspiration? Check out Jeff Katcherian’s guide, Top 5 Restaurants in Antwerp.

Advisor - Stephen Field

Travel Advisor

Stephen Field

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